A new global Ipsos study conducted with the World Economic Forum explores attitudes to sports and finds that globally most (58%) would like to practice more but say they lack of time to do so (37%). People in the Netherlands are the most physically active, spending more than 12 hours a week exercising or playing sport. 

Global survey of exercise trends

Ipsos conducted a  new global survey of exercise trends and asked more than 21,000 adults from 29 countries about how active they are. Here are some of the key findings:

  • People in the Netherlands are the most physically active, spending more than 12 hours a week exercising or playing sport.
  • More than half of people (58%) across the 29 countries surveyed want to play more sport.
  • Men spend 90 more minutes (on average) doing physical exercise than women each week.

Exercise is proven to keep us fit and healthy as we age – reducing our risk of dementia and boosting our immune systems -. But more than half of us feel they’re not playing enough sport, according to the  to survey.

 

Which nations do the most and least exercise?

On average people spend around six hours being active each week, almost an hour each day.

Citizens of  the Netherlands are the most physically active, spending more than 12 hours a week exercising or playing sport, followed by people from Germany and Romania, both at around 11 hours.

At the other end of the scale are people in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Chile and France, who do less than four hours of physical activity each week.

Global survey exercise trends

Citizens of the Netherlands are the most active (illustration by Ipsos; Global survey of exercise trends)

One in three people in Japan (34%) said they don’t exercise at all, compared to only 4% of people in the Netherlands, while the global average is 14%.

Just 4% of people from the Netherlands say they do no exercise at all in a normal week.

Across the countries studied men spend 6.9 hours per week doing physical exercise – almost an hour a day. Men in the Netherlands are the most active, saying they spend 15.2 hours in a normal week doing physical exercise on average. Brazilian and Japanese men spend the least time on average per week (3.4 and 3.9 hours respectively).

 

Is there a fitness gender gap?

According to the survey’s results men spend 90 more minutes (on average) doing physical exercise than women each week.

Men in the Netherlands are the most active: they say they spend 15.2 hours in a normal week doing physical exercise on average. Brazilian and Japanese men spend the least time on average per week (3.4 and 3.9 hours respectively).

Women spend 5.4 hours per week on average doing physical exercise across the 29 countries – 1.5 hours less than men. Women in Germany are the most active (11.3 hours a week), followed by Dutch (10.5 hours a week). Italian, Brazilian and Japanese women report the lowest average time spent doing physical exercise per week.

 

What’s stopping people from playing sport?

More than half of people (58%) want to play more sport across the 29 countries surveyed, with only 6% people saying they want to play less.

The reason said for stopping playing sports is the most easy to mention: time. Not having enough time was the main reason people gave for not playing more sport, followed by lack of money and then the weather being either too hot or too cold.

Not having sports facilities – or people to play – completed the top five reasons why people aren’t playing as much sport as they’d like.

Global survey exercise trends

Lack of time is the most common barrier to participation in sport (illustration by Ipsos; Global survey exercise trends).

 

The five most frequently practiced team sports and activities across the 29 countries in a normal week are fitness (20%), running (19%), cycling (13%), soccer (10%) and swimming (9%). However, the largest proportion say they do no team sport (38%).

Global survey exercise trends

Fitness and running are the most commonly practised sports and activities (illustration by Ipsos; Global survey exercise trends).

 

[Source: Ipsos global survey of exercise trends, with the World Economic Forum]

Arianna
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